For our case of week, Olivia's visited by Indiana Senator Peter Caldwell (played by Ugly Betty's Eric Mabius). The Caldwells are apparently a corrupt political dynasty, with Senators and Governors spread across generations and the country. Peter's brother is running to be Governor of North Carolina, but is lagging behind. The rumor is he's gay, and it's hurting their donor base. Olivia says that he should come out, but Will insists that he's not. Regardless, Olivia explains that the main problem is that in the public eye he's had no relationships or signs of wanting a relationship for a decade.
Scandal doesn't shy away from how race, personal life, and sexuality are all fair game in politics, and the focus on these liabilities are made even more complex by having Republican candidates deal with them. "Give me 10 years, and I can make a gay President," Olivia assures the Caldwells. I believe her.
Will and Peter decide it's best to just get him a fake wife. And so Olivia's team starts auditioning candidates. She even self-consciously compares it to a reality show, and warns her team that this obviously has to be more believable.
Back at the White House, the hostage situation escalates when the captors send footage of them murdering one of the American intelligence agents. Cyrus confides to Mellie that Fitz needs to strike back violently to show strength. She says she'll tell Fitz the idea came from Cyrus, but it seems like she kept it as her own. Shrewd move, Mellie, but Cyrus is a tough match. When Cyrus complains to Olivia about what's going on, she tells him to hold tight. Mellie is her own worst enemy when it comes to Fitz, she says. Mellie will find her own way to screw up. It's sound advice, but Cyrus is a bulldog that's been kept on a leash for too long.
And in a very scary moment, David Rosen finds out he is being followed. Thankfully it's by Wendy's friend, who fills in a lot of the gaps. Wendy did actually really like David (aww, good!), and she had seen and overheard Wendy being threatened by a man who "wanted what she had on him." And all it takes is a press conference for this friend to realize who threatened Wendy and who, she assumes, killed her -- the head of the CIA...or, Albatross.
NEXT: Cyrus finds a way back in the President's circle; Olivia has a breakthrough